A New Ubu
I enjoyed your cover story of May 21 on Zirk Ubu by Thomas Lux (“Bless This Crew of Visionaries”) but was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t recognize the literary allusion in the name of that institution: the playlet Ubu Roi by the French author Alfred Jarry. If Mr. Lux was astonished by the wackiness and energy of the Circus Ubu, he should be further amazed by Jarry’s crazy work. Jarry is often described as a precursor of the French Theater of the Absurd, as typified by the 1960s playwright Eugène Ionesco (The Bald Soprano, The Lesson, Rhinoceros, et al.). I feel that this characterization is off base, since Jarry’s works seem to me to be more a product of schoolboy high jinks for the sole purpose of shock (the first word of the play is Merdre! screamed by King Ubu — French for excrement, with an r inserted), rather than a conscious perception of the state of the world. At any rate, Jarry’s works show precisely the wild energy and zaniness Lux describes, and I think he, and any interested reader, ought to google either Ubu Roi or Alfred Jarry for an entertaining insight into the allusion mentioned above.
Dr. Julian Wulbern
Professor emeritus of German
and Comparative Literature
It Takes Two
I’m calling about some false information in a “Stringers” story, called “Toy Gun, Real Crime” (May 21). It was actually two guys who robbed Scripps Ranch AM/PM and the ones in Mira Mesa. I also know they were caught last night after casing the one in Scripps Ranch to rob it a second time.
“Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” (Cover Story, May 14) is character assassination by association. Verifiable facts about Tom Gores are few. Instead, we get page after page of hearsay about his uncle, Tom Joubran. It all makes me ask, “Who is the Reader’s owner?”
My family and I have seen the characterization of the dispute between Alec Gores and the estate of Frank Joubran in your article, “Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” Cover Story, May 14.
At the time of this action in 2003, Frank Joubran had just passed away, and the sorting out of his estate took some time. There were certain advisors involved who took actions that were, in retrospect, not prudent. Over the years, Frank did extremely well financially investing with Alec. Alec was always fair and generous to Frank.
There really was no dispute between Alec and my family. The action taken by the estate was based upon a misunderstanding of the facts. The lawsuit should have never been brought. Alec and the family of Frank Joubran, including me, have no issues on this subject and consider this matter closed.
The portrait that your paper attempted to paint of Tom Gores and the Gores family is not accurate. The real story of the new owner of the Union-Tribune is one of determination, inspiration, and hard work. These days, especially, a bit of inspiration may help us all. Truly knowing and living the story, I can say with certainty that you totally missed the point. What a shame for you and the readers.
For Representatives of the
Estate of Frank Joubran
Re “Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” (Cover Story, May 14). This report is very sloppy — the caller never identified himself as a reporter writing an article. He gave the impression he was just curious about my research, not writing a report. My statements were intended to enlighten this man about my research and were never intended to be printed, certainly were not stated in the context or sloppy English you present.
You are obviously going after the Joubrans/Goreses for obtaining a newspaper. Yellow journalists!
Matt Potter responds: I clearly identified myself as a reporter for the Reader and stated the purpose of the call. At no time did we go off the record. Mr. Bawardi was accurately quoted.
Wise Up, Guys
So the new owner’s roots are from Nazareth, once part of “Palestine” (“Who Is the Union-Tribune’s New Owner?” Cover Story, May 14). Can the Reader tell me what year Palestine was founded and by whom? What were its borders? What was its capital? What were its major cities? What constituted the basis of its economy? What was its form of government? Can you name at least one Palestinian leader before Arafat? What was the language of the country of Palestine? What was the prevalent religion of the country of Palestine? What was the name of its currency? Choose any date in history and tell what was the approximate exchange rate of the Palestinian monetary unit against the U.S. dollar, German mark, GB pound, Japanese yen, or Chinese yuan on that date. I hope you avoid the temptation to trace the modern-day “Palestinians” to the Biblical Philistines: substituting etymology for history won’t work here.
The truth should be obvious to everyone who wants to know it. Arabs have never abandoned the dream of destroying Israel; they still cherish it today. Having time and again failed to achieve their evil goal with military means, they decided to fight Israel by proxy. For that purpose, they created a terrorist organization, cynically called it “the Palestinian people,” and installed it in Gaza , Judea, and Samaria. The Reader needs to wise up a bit if its main articles are to be taken seriously.
First Amendment Mambo
Your “Blurt” article “Stand Still, Laddie!” (May 14) mentions that Sergeant Dan Plein of SDPD vice “says dancing will not be permitted.”
Do we know the details on this? Wouldn’t dancing be a personal form of expression? What would the concerns on this be as far as the police are concerned?
According to the San Diego Police Department, dancing is permitted in a club that has a general entertainment permit, which 8Teen’s proprietor says her club does. — Editor
I have a question. What happened to Don Bauder’s column? We’ve looked forward to it ever since he came to your paper, and the last few weeks he hasn’t been there. Please let me know what the situation is.
Don Bauder has been on vacation. His column will return next week. — Editor
I was saving Nasreen Atassi’s article (“Searching for San Diego’s Sea Turtles…and a Job,” Cover Story, April 30) to read because as soon as I started it, I could feel the aliveness, which I don’t feel with many other features of the Reader. I appreciated the juxtaposition of Nasreen’s personal story with the story of the turtles — trying to find a way or a place to be at home “just outside of one’s range,” or better yet, a way to swim inside the “power,” despite the constraints of family, society, etc. I can relate. Maybe part of Nasreen’s path is not belonging, not fitting in, and somehow articulating that experience. Thank you, perhaps I am not so alone in feeling so alone.
Incidentally, I just read the nasty comments of one reader, who obviously cannot understand what it is to be a creative young woman. I call Nasreen courageous for exposing her inner life as she did. There is delight and power in quitting a job. Perhaps this man is jealous. The world needs Nasreen. May her contributions be received and honored.
Congratulations and thanks to Miss Atassi for a most enjoyable story (“Searching for San Diego’s Sea Turtles…and a Job,” Cover Story, April 30). I had a few good laughs and was very surprised to learn about having turtles here in San Diego. Sea turtles are so majestic, and anyone who has swum alongside one of them or seen them knows how beautiful they are. I lived in Kona for a few years and grew very fond of the turtles there, swimming with them on an almost daily basis. Now I look forward to going to see them here. Thank you, Reader, and again to Miss Atassi, and best wishes to you on your journey.
Xtreme Meets White Skull
Behold, San Diego Reader, and tremble before the wrath of the White Skull! Listen well: I am the White Skull; where Mr. Xtreme (“San Diego’s Superhero,” Cover Story, April 16) created the power vacuum of being a “real-life hero,” so-called, I fill that vacuum with pure dastardly evil! Here are my simple demands: I want Mr. Xtreme to know that his days of do-gooding are numbered; I want him to know that as long as he wears a mask and does his little routine, so shall I! I want nothing less than the complete and utter end of his extracurricular activities, and I will go to whatever lengths necessary to ensure that those demands are met! Beware, Mr. Xtreme; you have brought this on yourself!
The White Skull
Tiny Type Troubles
I’ve been a Reader fan for years, and I know it’s important for you to keep publishing costs down, but your reduction in the size of fonts you use has become excessive, making the publication literally unreadable. Way too small and light. Please help us to keep enjoying your publication.